It's always good to have hopes and dreams. They give you an ideal, or at least a goal to strive toward. And for idol music, I always have a little collection of hopes and dreams for the new year. Some of them are convoluted and will probably never happen, and others are highly plausible. Either way, if all these things happened in 2014, I would be a happy camper. Whether they do or not, these are my hopes and dreams for 2014!
AKB48 Stops Sucking
- I think I know this pretty much won't happen, but at least I can dream of a time when AKB48 still released good music. It's no secret that I have reviewed AKB48 with all the benevolence of an angry wolverine. But I'm sorry, their music has sucked this year. There were only like two remotely decent songs I like from AKB48 this year, and neither one of them were A-sides. Whatever happened to songs like 10nen Zakura and Beginner and Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru? Why doesn't Aki-P ever try with AKB48 anymore!? Well, I can answer that: he obviously doesn't want jeopardize the precious money AKB48 makes from each single. Still, I think Aki-P has gotten really lazy with AKB48. I didn't like a single one of AKB48's A-sides this year. Not even the fall single. Okay, Koisuru Fortune Cookie was decent. But still, if that's the best A-side, that's pretty pathetic. I mean, all the other AKS groups get better songs, and they still sell well! What's up with AKB48 getting all the sucky songs!? I have no idea, but I am so sick of having to type out the same review for every AKB48 song! So in 2014, they better get their act together and start releasing something with effort. I swear if I didn't like so many of the members in the group, I'd probably have dropped AKB48 like a soggy sandwich by now. Still, I'll hold out one more year and hope they release something with heart.
Bellring Shoujo Heart Releases More Stuff
- Ugh, I wish I'd reviewed their Bedhead album! But alas, I did not. I did listen to it though! And what I found was a pretty great album. My one gripe with Bedhead was the quality of the mixing and overall production, but other than that, this is on par with Idol is Dead. Bedhead had an unconventional sound for an idol group, delving into 60s rock, punk, and a bunch of other different genres I often don't hear in idol music. I love it when idols push the limits of what kind of music an idol releases, and Bedhead did that perfectly. Not only that, I think Bellring Shoujo Heart seems like a really cool group. Their music video for Circus & Renai Soudan was equal parts creepy and weird, and I'm always fascinated by weird and creepy idol PVs! Really I'm surprised I didn't start following this group sooner! They're like an indie BiS that's not trying quite as hard to be unconventional! There's a lot to talk about with Bellring Shoujo Heart, and I think they have a lot of potential! So I eagerly look forward to whatever they release in 2014! Maybe another psychedelic album? That would be awesome!
Berryz Koubou Stops Sucking
- Much like AKB48, Berryz Koubou was an idol group plagued with lackluster songs left and right. However, I don't think Tsunku was being lazy; I think he just doesn't know what to do with Berryz anymore. All I know is that the mature shit they've been getting lately has been totally boring. I mean, they started out lively with Asian Celebration and from there things just got duller... and duller... and duller for them. Along with boring songs, the group's chemistry has been seriously off-balance year; they all look so awkward and wooden in their PVs. Not engaging at all! I honestly haven't even wanted to review the stuff they've released this year. The only good song they've gotten all year is Rock Erotic, and that was bogged down by an awful PV. It really boggles my mind, because Berryz Koubou is a group that has gotten some great songs in the past. I guess they're just in a rut, similar to the one Morning Musume was in a few years ago. I'm hoping that Tsunku figure out how to pull them out this rut though! And I don't think the way to doing that is throwing electronic dance songs on them. Berryz Koubou is kind of like Melon Kinenbi; their true chemistry comes out when they're given interesting, kind of offbeat songs to work with like Cha Cha Sing and Madayade. Not with slow, sappy songs like Motto Zutto Isshoni Itakatta and Golden Chinatown.
BiS Doesn't Disband
- I'm a little worried about BiS. Pour Lui has stated multiple times that she wants to disband BiS after they've performed at Budokan. She sees Budokan as being the "high point" for BiS, and wants her group to end on this high point instead of fizzling out. This year, BiS came close to performing at Budokan but that ended up not happening. But who's to say they won't perform at Budokan next year!? I want BiS to be successful, I really do. But I don't want them to disband at the price of such success! They're the most interesting, entertaining group I review on the Wonderland! Not reviewing BiS anymore would be... well, I'd feel like there was a void left in the my little blog. BiS is a group that's just so offbeat and strange and weird; I know sometimes they try a little too hard, but I'd rather them try too hard and not at all! It would just be nice if BiS stuck around for another year or two. Maybe they could release one or tow more albums, several more singles, and then perform at Budokan. And yet with Pour Lui forming a new band, I can't help but feel that the end is near for BiS. Still, I won't get too gloomy! Nothing's set in stone yet! I might just be getting worked up over my own little worries! Should BiS disband next year, I at least hope they leave behind in their wake some really good music and a legacy for other idol groups to look to in the future.
BiS Releases Another Album
- On the subject of BiS, should they disband, I do hope they'd release one final album! And preferably not a compilation album; I want some new material from BiS. I think BiS is overdue for an album. They've released three (soon to be four) singles since Idol is Dead, so they have plenty of A-sides for the album. And that's not even mentioning their two collaboration singles with Dorothy Little Happy and Dempagumi.inc. And that Koisuru Dempo Japan single. Not only that, they have several B-sides I'd very much like on their album. Although I kind of doubt any of the B-sides will make it... none of them did for Idol is Dead. Still, I really want another album from BiS! I don't have any real reason beyond my own selfishness other than Idol is Dead is one of my favorite albums. And surely if BiS can release an album as good as Idol is Dead, they've got some other great songs they can release on an equally good album! I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed in 2014!
C-ute Sells as Well as Morning Musume
- Over the past two years, C-ute has been steadily increasing in singles sales. It started around Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku, and with Tokai no Hitorigurashi/Aitte Motto Zanshin, C-ute is still increasing their singles sales at a very steady rate! I'd very much like them to keep going; I keep getting this feeling they're going to stagnate at some point, and their sales are going to slowly start going down again. But that's probably just me being pessimistic. And I really am happy that C-ute's been doing so much better with their physical sales! The songs C-ute's been releasing have been really good and play to the group's strengths nicely. Honestly, I think C-ute deserves to sell as well as Momusu. They've been around in H!P long enough, and all the members are so likable and talented and hardworking. I could probably also say the same thing about Berryz Koubou, but I think my personal preferences just really make me want C-ute to succeed. I like all the members of C-ute, I think they perform great live, their songs are really good, I feel like they're a group that can and should sell really well. And I hope they continue to sell well in 2014! And I also hope they keep getting really good songs. If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with the latter. Song quality always comes before sales for me.
H!P Lays Off the Double A-sides
- I swear, if I have to spend all of next year writing double PV review for Hello! Project singles, I'm going to lose my effing mind. I couldn't even finish half the review for my H!P stuff, because it consisted of so many double A-sides. Look, as a fan, I like the double A-sides. As a reviewer though, it's starting to become a pain. I'm either going to have to come up with some alternative to reviewing all these double A-side PVs, or just ignore them all together. I'm thinking that maybe I can just pick the one I like most (or can talk about the most) and do a review of solely that one. I'm also considering condensed PV reviews for double A-sides. But the easiest solution is for Tsunku to stop. Writing. Double. A-SIDES. Otherwise, I'm gonna go crazy! I'm already halfway there, staying up until two in the morning trying to finish a double PV review is not healthy for me! Oh well, if they continue, I'll think of some alternative. Or I'll just avoid reviewing H!P PVs altogether. It's not like they get the most innovative PVs in the idol industry anyways.
Kus Kus Continues Releasing Technopop Music
- Suteki na Takaramono was a great single. But I'm a little nervous that Kus Kus might not be able to continue the momentum of their amazing debut single. You know how a group releases a first single, and the following singles turn out not to be as good? Yeah, it happens a lot in idol music, and I can't help but be worried that might happen to Kus Kus. Still, I'll keep an open mind and tentatively hope for the best with whatever single Kus Kus will release next! But I do hope that whatever single Kus Kus releases next continues the technopop sound prevalent in their first single! I get the feeling that it will; I just hope it's good technopop. I love me some Perfume, but I do like technopop that's little more idol-y, and Kus Kus is this wonderful blend of idol pop and technopop! I feel like if Universal Music Japan can just fine-tune their image and promote them a little better, Kus Kus could turn out to be a very Perfume-esque group! They're already halfway there being a technopop trio and all! And you know, Perfume isn't going to be around forever. I'd like to have a nice amount of technopop idols to still follow whenever Perfume does retire. Ugh, all this talk of retirement is making me sad! I just want to listen to good technopop idol music, and Kus Kus looks like they're going to release good technopop music in the future! Or at least I hope so. Please don't prove me wrong, UMJ.
No Big Scandals
- AKB48, I'm looking at you. Maybe I should rephrase this as no big scandals from idol groups I care about. I don't give a shit if some JE group gets into a scandal. I think the blogsphere needs a break from scandals. A scandal is never fun. It's not fun to read about, it's not fun to write about, and often, it spreads a lot of hostile feelings and hate around fans. Like the Miichan scandal split a ton of fans apart this year, and honestly, I hated seeing so much backlash about it from both sides. That and there's nothing worse than seeing your favorite member plagued by a potentially career-ending scandal. All it does it make me loathe Shunkan Bunshun, which let's be honest, is the real enemy in this entire situation. And at the end of the day, when the scandal is blown over and everyone hates each other, I'm tired. I'm tired of seeing dating scandals left and right that are "discovered" under the sketchiest circumstances. I'm tired of all the arguments about the no-dating rule and an idol's basic human rights over their career obligations. But most of all, I'm tired of Shunkan Bunshun. And knowing how much dirt they dig on AKB48, I'm sure they'll find something new to dig up in 2014. But please please please just let me get through the first half of the year without hearing about how "X stayed over at this guy's apartment." Please. The only scandal I like is Scandal the band.
Perfume Comes to America
- I feel like for the past year, Perfume has been hinting and hinting and hinting about holding a third world tour and coming to America. They've dropped it interviews, they've already been toured overseas twice... But I do wonder if it's all going to amount to anything. Because I think Perfume could easily find an American audience. There are plenty of American Perfume fans out there who would see them in concert! The hard part would be the locations. America is an effing huge country (and it totally blows trying to get anywhere in a decent amount of time). I think if Perfume did come to America, they'd probably hit New York City and Los Angeles. NYC would be the more convenient city for me, since I can find lodging close to the city for free. Los Angeles is basically impossible for me to get to. In an ideal scenario though, Perfume would come down south to Perfume. I know, I know, that's impossible; no J-pop artist will touch the South with a ten-foot pole. But that would be the best situation for me! And it'd be nice if they came in the summer! Preferably around June or early July. That way I wouldn't have to worry about school getting in the way! Maybe it's farfetched, but I really would genuinely love if Perfume came to perform in America, and if there could even be the slightest chance that I could see them live. I don't know, maybe it's just a selfish delusion.
Tokyo Girls' Style Gets the Sales They Deserve
- Commissioner Gordon said it best: "TGS is the idol group Japan deserves, but not the one it needs right now." Nah, I'm just kidding; I only wanted to use that quote! But I seriously do think that Tokyo Girls' Style is a group that deserves a little more recognition than it gets. The girls are all incredibly talented, their music is interesting, their music videos are always a visual spectacle, why isn't this group more well-known!? You'd think they'd at least have a more prominent niche, but they don't! I can at least get why commercially TGS isn't a very popular group; their look is very mature and different. I mean, compare them to AKB48. Hell, compare them to Super Girls. Sweet, cute, friendly image over mature, dark, and moody image. Can you guess which one has a wider audience appeal? Not that I'm peeved that Super Girls sells better than TGS. Not much at least. I just wish that TGS could sell more than a few thousand copies of a single. In a perfect world, they'd be one of the most well-known idol groups on the market. But they're not. I think when TGS disbands, they'll sort of be remember in the same way SweetS is: a group too ahead of its time to really be appreciated. I mean, Tokyo Girls' Style is basically SweetS 2.0. You'd think that at least the SweetS appeal would reel people in! I guess not though...
Wotas Stop Bitching about Suzuki Kanon's Weight
- I'm pretty lenient about criticism of other idols. I know everyone has their own opinions and preferences, so who am I to judge if someone doesn't like someone else's oshi? But the one criticism that drives me berserk is one someone dislikes an idol solely based off the way she looks. And I'm seeing a lot of that with Suzuki Kanon, especially this year. Look, Zukki isn't my favorite member, but I think the criticisms of her being fat are both insulting and idiotic. Because you know what's going to happen? One day Zukki is going to be a grown, fully developed women who is going to be hot as hell, and every asshat who criticized her for her weight is going to look like an idiot. The girl is fifteen. We all looked awkward as hell when we were fifteen! And if you say otherwise, you are lying! Who's to say that Zukki won't grow up to be a beautiful, curvy woman or a slimmer, but equally beautiful woman? I mean, look at Ogawa Makoto! Even A-chan lost her baby fat at a later age! Look, I'm not trying to go all social justice crusader, but it just drives me up the wall when "the fat criticism" pops up. All I'm trying to say is I think people are way too quick to judge a girl on something that she might not even be able to control. Can't you criticize Zukki for like, I don't know, her on-and-off belting voice? Just something more legitimate than body weight!
Personal Stuff for Me and the Wonderland
I'm Still Able to Blog in College
- As crazy as it is to type this out, I'm graduating next year. No, I'm not graduating from an idol group! I'm graduating from high school! It feels really weird to be so close to finishing something I've been doing for twelve years now. But I am graduating next year, unless I screw up fantastically in my final semester of high school, which I hope will not happen! And after graduating, I'm going to college! Yeah, this crazy chick is going to college! I really am. See that thing I'm holding? That's a college acceptance letter. Of the three schools I've applied to, I've heard back from two of them. I've been accepted into both schools, and now I have the option of choosing. Which is really nice. I'm extremely excited to go to college, and knowing that I now have options of where I want to go gives me such peace of mind. Even though I can't wait to go to college, I'm also a little worried about whether I'll still be able to devote my time to writing on the Wonderland or not. In a perfect universe, I'd be able to, but I don't know. I don't know how much time my college classes or other activities will take up. But I love blogging on the Wonderland, and I want to keep doing it! So I'm hoping that I'm able to balance college and blogging the same way I've balanced blogging and high school!
I Learn to Tolerate Dempagumi.inc
- Guys, I am so sick of Dempagumi.inc. And yet I think they're a really cool group. And yet I also can't stand them and roll my eyes every time they pop up. And yet the weird thing is I don't even follow them that closely. I guess I've just been hearing so much about them in the blogsphere that they're starting to get on my nerves. Do you guys know that feeling when you don't like something that everybody else loves? And everyone keeps heaping praise and acclaim on that thing, yet when you go to look at the thing, you just don't get it. That's kind of how I feel about Dempagumi.inc. I think they're an interesting group, I think they have great visuals, and the members seem like they have very engaging and earnest personalities. But look, World Wide Dempa gave me a headache. I'm not even exaggerating, about halfway through listening Dempagumi.inc's second album, my head started hurting. I cannot stand any of this group's music because of how shrieky the vocals are. But I can acknowledge that Dempagumi.inc is still a well-liked group, and my disdain for their vocal abilities won't change that. So I'm hoping in the following year, I'll be able to finally tolerate Dempagumi.inc in all their poor vocals! And maybe I'll finally develop one solid opinion about them and stop flip-flopping between two extremes...